July 22, 2005

The Rewards of Cleaning

Cleaning the living room has been one of With-a-Why's summer chores. His technique of cleaning, which I think he learned from Boy in Black, is to push everything under the couch or to the edges of the room, or pile books and such on the hearth. Then he vacuums the middle of the room. The worst part about this method is that the edges of the room are already piled with amps, musical instruments, and piles of books that don't fit into the overflowing shelves.

I figured it was time for me to swoop in and do what I call a thorough cleaning, which means taking all the games and books and light sabers and piling them on the staircase. The theory behind my technique is that kids will get sick of walking past all the stuff on the stairs and put it away. Of course, that doesn't happen, because the main problem is that we have no place to put miscellaneous stuff, all we've got upstairs are small bedrooms with tiny closets, and eventually, all the stuff will just creep back down into the living room. Except for the game with the marbles. That someone will trip over, sending the marbles flying in all directions, and someone will get angry that now we've lost one of the blue marbles because those were his favorites and now he can't play anymore.

Still and all, the process is worth it because once in a while I do like to remember what the downstairs of my house looks like clean, the way it does for parties when we pile miscellaneous stuff into laundry baskets and stick it out into the garage. So this week, I did a thorough cleaning of the living area.

And found a green plastic Easter egg, still filled with candy.

18 comments:

Yankee T said...

When we moved from a 600 sq. foot apartment into a 3700 sq. foot house, I was just SURE that our living room would never have that miscellaneous crap around the edges look. WRONG! I move stuff to the stairs all.the.time with the same results you have.
My favorite is the playing cards, out of the box, stacked in a corner until they're strewn and the 10 of diamonds goes missing.

Scrivener said...

But at least you got that candy treasure for a reward when you were finished, right? Hope it was something good, like dark chocolate, and not just a couple of stale old jelly beans.

jo(e) said...

When I showed With-a-Why the Easter egg, as sort of a hint that maybe he needs to be more thorough in cleaning the room, his face lit up and he just happily took the candy.

I'm thinking he missed the point.

Songbird said...

At least it wasn't Christmas candy.

RussianViolets said...

I love that With-a-Why just missed the point. I can see the look of consternation on your face now. Another great story, Jo(e).

Kathryn said...

This is a truly wonderful blog jo(e)...I'm so glad I finally came visiting, having read your comments elsewhere. Sounds as if our households match quite nicely...beautiful daughter is this mum's best friend and the only one who reads my blog too...and my teenage sons look set fair to spend the entire summer welded to their computers, except for the week when we are on holiday en famille. Anyway, I look forward to getting to know you better via your blog.

jo(e) said...

Kathryn: After checking out your blog, I am convinced that you and I have an awful lot in common.

Friday Mom said...

But haven't you missed the point too? I mean, you cleaned the living room, you discovered the leftover egg. Shouldn't you be the one who gets to eat the candy? :-)

jo(e) said...

Friday Mom: If it was dark chocolate or anything I like, I would have fought him for it.

Lisa V said...

This is why I am happy to have a party or house guests or even move once in awhile. The place always looks so good, for maybe 5 minutes.

I usually find missing library books, considering the fines, that is better than candy.

jo(e) said...

LisaV: Yeah, whenever we clean for a big party, I always look around and think, "Gee, this would be a nice place to live."

Songbird said...

Same here. Papa (paternal grandfather) came to pick the boys up tonight to see a play, and I was quite embarassed at the state of the house. Fortunately, the worshipful Molly Dog and the unable-to-tie-a-tie #1 Son distracted his attention.

Friday Mom said...

Ok, I feel better.

purple_kangaroo said...

We had a new babysitter this week. Showing someone whom I really don't know well around the house made me see it with different eyes. I knew it was a bit messy, but the clutter *really* looked bad seeing it through new eyes.

joanna said...

Good to know that I'm not the only person who tosses things in drawers, under furniture and into the garage whenever we have company! Haven't found any Easter candy, but have found a world of cat toys, some dating back to the '80's.

Cheeky Prof said...

For what it's worth, Mr. Cheeky and With-a-Why seem to have the same "cleaning" style. Hmmmm. It does feel good to get it done though, doesn't it? And a surprise Easter egg no less!

Mona Buonanotte said...

I cleaned out the candy bowl in the kitchen yesterday, and found Christmas candy still in there. From two years ago. Uh...old chocolate doesn't make you sick...does it??

Running2Ks said...

I love cleaning. It makes my house seem quieter.